(Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Aug 01, 2022
Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman released a video Monday spotlighting newly resurfaced comments by his Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz, an ultra-millionaire who once claimed that "it's very hard to discern significant differences in happiness in someone who's making $50,000 and $50 million."
"If Dr. Oz would like to prove it to me, he could give me the rest of his money and we'll see how far he can get on $50,000 a year."
Fetterman's campaign used the remarks as fodder for a video that paints Oz--a former television personality worth upwards of $100 million--as "out of touch" with the needs of ordinary Pennsylvanians, a populist line of attack that the Democratic lieutenant governor has pursued relentlessly in his bid for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.
"Once you get about $40,000 of income, the value of money dramatically decreases in your life," Oz says in the video.
\u201cMy opponent claims there's no difference between $50,000 and $50 MILLION\n\nLike, how out of touch from reality do you have to be to literally say something like that???\u201d— John Fetterman (@John Fetterman) 1659371923
Derek Attenborough, a former crew worker from Yardley, Pennsylvania who is now in truck driving school, told the Fetterman campaign in response to Oz's comments that "this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard in my life."
"There are millions of people in Pennsylvania who make $50,000 or less," Attenborough said. "Every single one of them would disagree with this. I'm in Philadelphia right now with a bunch of guys going to school to learn how to drive trucks, and if I were to say this to them, they'd beat me up."
"If Dr. Oz would like to prove it to me," Attenborough added, "he could give me the rest of his money and we'll see how far he can get on $50,000 a year."
The 38-second clip also features footage of Oz touting the fabric his tailor uses, kissing his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and bragging about the basketball court and gym in his home studio.
"How can anyone believe that Dr. Oz would actually fight for the people of Pennsylvania when he doesn't think there is a difference between making $50,000 and making $50,000,000," Joe Calvello, a spokesperson for the Fetterman campaign, said in a statement. "This guy has zero comprehension of what day-to-day life looks like for the working people of Pennsylvania who are struggling to pay bills and afford groceries."
"News flash to Dr. Oz: not everyone has a $50 million dollar mansion, spends their time hanging out on yachts, and wears custom-made Turkish suits," Calvello added. "Just because you and your rich friends are doing so well doesn't mean the rest of us are. Oz does not give a shit about the working people of Pennsylvania and does not have a clue what people are going through."
The Fetterman campaign has sought to portray Oz, a longtime resident of New Jersey, as a carpetbagger whose election would serve the interests of the wealthy, not Pennsylvanians struggling to meet basic needs. Last week, Fetterman challenged Oz to live on $7.25 an hour, an attempt to highlight the Republican candidate's opposition to raising the minimum wage.
"Oz doesn't feel anything if grocery or gas prices rise a few bucks," Fetterman's campaign said Monday. "He doesn't understand what financial burdens are hitting Pennsylvania right now. He thinks that his ultra-millionaire lifestyle is the same as a working mother of two who only makes $50,000 a year."
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